F-15i jets
F-15i jetsIAF website

The IDF reported that dozens of fighter jets conducted aerial drills over the Mediterranean Sea to practice a long-range flight and striking distant targets yesterday (Tuesday).

The planes simulated a long-range flight, aerial refueling and striking distant targets. The drill was conducted as part of the "Chariots of Fire" exercise and accelerated preparations for multi-arena combat scenarios both near and far.

Yesterday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited Cyprus for the exercise, as part of the large-scale month-long simulation.

"Along with the day-to-day handling of Israel's security, the IDF is constantly preparing for operations in various sectors, and will land a severe blow to anyone who seeks to threaten the citizens of the State of Israel. I would also like to thank the Cypriot partners hosting us, and allowing us to increase our [preparedness level]. This illustrates the depth of the strategic alliance between the two countries. I am very happy to have come here today, and I am very encouraged by what I have seen," said Gantz at the conclusion of his visit.

The IDF launched the exercise, said to be the largest of its type in Israel's history, at the beginning May.

Army forces simulated a "month of war" for the first time since the Israeli army was founded in order to increase the IDF's readiness and fitness for military conflict.

Regular and reserve forces from all army units took part in the event, alongside members of the political echelon, including the Ministry of Defense, the National Emergency Authority, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and others.

The exercise practiced a broad, synchronized maneuver in the depths of enemy territory based on General Staff capabilities and special forces activity.

In addition, training included transition from routine to emergency situations, continuity of functioning within the IDF and between various units, assistance from the Home Front and civilian organizations, fighting and maneuvering in built-up areas, and other aspects of urban warfare.